If you’ve ever been in a situation where you’ve lost your wallet or purse, you understand how terrible the situation can be. You spend all day looking in every nook and cranny you can think of, and it still never manages to turn up. You start worrying that someone might have used your identification card and credit cards to commit identity theft. In this article, I’ll explain what to do if your wallet is stolen or lost.
As mentioned, you really need to search your house or apartment thoroughly. Chance are, you’ve simply misplaced it. Check under the bed, in the couch cushions, and anywhere else you might have been since you last had it. Of course, if you’re reading this article, you’ve probably done all of that already.
Once you’ve ruled out a simple misplacement, you should call any establishment that you have visited recently, including bars, restaurants, hotels, etc. If you visited a place and the wallet or purse was dropped while you were there, someone might have found it and turned it in to lost and found.
If you’re still out of luck, calling your banks to cancel all of your debit and credit cards is a very important next step. If your wallet was stolen or found by some unsavory criminal, you want to try and minimize the damage early. Contacting each of your financial institutions quickly will inform them that you aren’t responsible for any new transactions that occur. You can generally find their contact information online by visiting their website.
After you’ve informed the bank of your lost or stolen wallet, you should also contact the local police department. The police will help your file a report, and if anyone happens to turn in your wallet to them, you will be easier to find. Banks and credit card companies may also want to see that report in order to prove that any fraudulent transaction were not your responsibility.
If you had a drivers’ license in your wallet or purse, it’s important to contact the Department of Motor Vehicles to request a new license. They will generally charge a fee for processing a new license.
In the unfortunate event that your wallet contained a large sum of cash, call your home owners or renters insurance provider immediately. You might get lucky if your policy contains a provision for this, but they will most certainly require a police report. Insurance companies are aware the fraud happens frequently in this type of case, so be prepared to plead your case and provide ample proof.
Lastly, you need to be aware of identity theft on your financial transactions going forward. Check each of your financial statements (online where applicable), and keep an eye peeled for any suspicious looking activity. Check your credit report frequently after your wallet has been stolen or lost, because you never know when someone might try to open a new account in your name.
Losing a wallet or purse is a terrible thing to have happen to you, but if you’re diligent in taking action right away, you can help mitigate any long-term damage. Check your credit report at Equifax, TransUnion, and/or Experian, call the police, and hope for the best. Stay safe!
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